5 Tips for People Considering Moving to Japan

I’m not going to bother writing about how I’m back to blogging and what not since I don’t really know whether I would continue updating regularly from this point. I’m not very good at regular updates am I.. Well anyway, I was hoping to change the format of my blog a little by making it a little more easy to digest. As I am living in beautiful Kasumigaseki in the Saitama prefecture of Japan, I feel motivated to share my experiences with everyone who reads this blog. Alright, here are some tips I feel are important to consider if you are moving to Japan.

1. Learn as much Japanese as you can – Japan consists of a majority of people who do not know how to speak English. Only Japanese. Living here, you will have to go overcome obstacles over simple matters such as finding the products you need in a grocery store. It is rare to find any english text on a majority of these products. That’s okay you say? Just ask an employee? No. They would not be able to help you either since it is most likely that they wouldn’t understand what you’re trying to ask for. How about wanting to ask for directions, ordering something in a restaurant but the menu is in Japanese. It is simple acts like these that are made really difficult if you do not understand any Japanese. Therefore I recommend to at least have basic knowledge such as reading the characters, Hiragana and Katakana, maybe as much kanji as you can take in as well, it would not hurt at all. Basic conversation, it all helps so much. You have no idea how many times I have had to get something done through a friend who can translate, but what happens if you do not have anyone who is willing to help you out with this? You’re screwed. I think this is the top priority you should think of.

2. Try to make friends with Japanese people – This is especially important if you want to improve in your Japanese. Come on, you’re coming to Japan, do you really want to spend all of your time with people from places abroad? This suggestion applies to anyone who is going to any country in fact. If you want to learn more about the culture and the way things work, this is really beneficial. Just remember, Japanese people tend to be really shy and you would really have to make an effort to introduce yourself to them.

3. If you use deodorant, buy a large supply of it before you come – I will break it to you softly. You are a filthy Gaijin. and you smell. Just kidding, but seriously bring as much to last throughout the time you are here because while Japanese have products, they are simply inferior since Japanese people do not see the need for them.

4. Do you actually want to live in Japan? – We all could have a hobby or an interest that originates from Japan such as video games, anime, music, and such. However, Japan does not revolve around this idea. Of course there is so much to see for that kind of thing, but living here is a different story. A lot of Japanese people do not actually enjoy things such as games or anime (by what I have seen at least). Japan is an incredible place. The culture is like no other, the people are so respectful, the food, the environments, there is so much to see and experience that you simply cannot get in other countries. It is not all about anime or games.. While I do very much enjoy Japanese video games, I have not allowed it to take over my perception of what makes Japan truly spectacular. Please consider this as your expectations of Japan could be very very different to what you think it is right now.

5. DO NOT GET SOFTBANK POCKET WIFI – Simply put, it sucks balls and you should not go near it. It has a limit of 7Gb per month but that gets drained in mere days. They also throttle internet speeds when you use over 300mb in a day so you are being ripped off in spectacular ways. You also must go through a long process to sign up for it as well as having the requirement of living in Japan for at least 2 years. The cancellation fee is a whopping 10,000 yen but guess what, there are hidden situations behind that price too. For example, I went to go and try cancel my subscription the other day and they claimed I have to pay 19,000 instead.. otherwise I must wait until December and THEN the price would change to 10,000. Thats fantastic. I really suggest trying to get the home internet from FLETS or NTT. Its incredibly fast. Unfortunately, I live in a dorm where they refuse to install WIFI for the tenants, therefore I am royally screwed.

I hope this helps you obtain a better understanding of what you are going to decide when moving to Japan. These are simply the first 5 things that popped into my head, of course there is so much more to consider. I shall write more information about Japan at a later time. Perhaps specifically about living in Kasumigaseki as well as attending Tokyo International University. Look forward to it.